Bachelor's degree programs are available in electronic engineering or electronic engineering technology. A bachelor's degree in electronic engineering focuses more on theory and concept, whereas electronic engineering technology programs involve application. In electronic engineering, students may also specialize in several areas like wireless components or systems. Both programs may require special projects or cooperative work experiences for degree completion.
Bachelor's Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology
This program teaches candidates how to apply electronics technology to design, test and troubleshoot advanced devices and systems. It trains students in basic electrical theory and hands-on application, subsequently moving on to increasingly complex electrical systems, platforms, telecommunication systems and circuit design. Graduates can direct technicians and assist engineers in designing, troubleshooting and maintaining electronic devices and networks. Applicants must have high school diplomas or GEDs for admission.
In addition to coursework, students spend extensive time in various labs using industry software. Hands-on learning may also be obtained through supervised internships. Course topics may include:
- Technical mathematics
- Computer programming
- Electronic device applications
- Microprocessor applications
- Network analysis
- Industrial automation controls
Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering
This program, rich in engineering science, physics and math courses, prepares students for employment as electrical or electronics engineers. Candidates can specialize in several areas of electrical engineering, such as communications, electronics, digital signal processing, electromechanical systems, wireless components and systems. Applicants must have high school diplomas or GEDs to be admitted into the program.
The curriculum includes courses, lectures, research, lab classes and seminars. Prior to graduation, participants complete senior design courses where they design an engineering project based on research and knowledge obtained in the program. Typical courses may include:
- Electric and electronic circuits
- Computer methods in engineering
- Materials sciences for electrical engineering
- Electronic product design
- Signals and systems
- Differential equations
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the number of employed electrical and electronic engineering technicians will have little to no change by 0% from 2018-2028. As of May 2018, these workers earned an average salary of $65,050. Between 2018 and 2028, employment of electrical and electronic engineers is projected to 2% job growth, according to the BLS. The BLS also reported that the median salary for electrical engineers was $96,640 in 2018. Electronic engineers (except those working with computers) had a median salary of $102,700 at that same time.
Continuing Education and Licensing Information
Electronics and electrical technologists often advance their careers through work experience and professional certifications. Graduates of the electronics engineering technology program may also choose to enroll in bachelor's degree engineering programs. Technologists can also obtain certification through the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET), the Electronics Technicians Association (ETA), the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
Graduates of the bachelor's degree in electrical engineering program may seek immediate employment or may pursue advanced education. Individuals may pursue master's degree electrical engineering programs; some enroll in online programs and earn the degree while working and gaining experience in the field. Engineers who will be providing direct services to the public are required to be licensed. Obtaining licensure earns them the credential of professional engineer (PE). To obtain licensure, applicants must have completed a training program, must have four years work experience and must pass 2-stage written examinations. There are several certifying organizations where engineers can obtain certification to further their career options.
Popular Career Options
Graduates of bachelor's degrees in electronics engineering technology may find employment opportunities working with electrical and electronics equipment, industry machinery, manufacturing firms or in government contracts. Possible career titles may include:
- Electronic engineering technician
- Control system integrator
- Electrical/electronics product specialist
- Electronic technologist
- Product designer
- Field service engineer
Students in electrical engineering programs may have access to internships, workshops and job fairs to assist with employment. Graduates may find employment in laboratories, industrial plants and office buildings. Possible career titles may include:
- Electrical engineer
- Electronic engineer
- Programming analyst
- Software engineer
Bachelor's degree programs in electrical engineering focuses on engineering concepts with an emphasis on math and science coursework. Programs in electronics engineering technology focus more on application and electrical theory.